The holiday season is the busiest time of year for any retail business, and e-commerce websites are no different. But with this increase in business also comes an influx of online traffic, which can crash your website and clog up your customer service line, turning the best time of year into the most stressful. Here are some best practices for customer service departments and how you can handle this busy holiday season with ease.
Much like a meteorologist does with the weather, businesses can forecast trends based on data. And while business forecasts are typically used to project the likelihood of maintaining expenditures and hitting revenue streams, this information can also show you a clear indication of what your business will face this holiday season.
From web traffic spikes to customer service needs, forecasting helps businesses anticipate needs, including potential strains on IT and customer support. More importantly, if your business can anticipate its needs before they arise, you can consistently be one step ahead of potential issues. Whether your business requires assistance from dependable third-party customer service providers via a cloud contact center or extra distribution personnel, an accurate forecast will increase efficiency and cut costs.
However, there’s also a drawback to forecasting, as the data being used may not always be current. While this information provides insight into the successes and failures of past years, it’s still only a probability forecast. Therefore, it’s paramount your business has robust and flexible web models and customer service departments.
The name may sound flashy, but when it’s put to work, nobody will ever notice. Specifically, cloudburst technology is a blanket term for allocating computing power across localized and off-premise (or cloud) servers. So, why would you use cloud bursting rather than a full hybrid cloud system?
For starters, it’s unlikely you’ll need this level of cloud computing support year round. This is where your web traffic forecast can come in handy, as an educated projection of annual and seasonal web traffic allows for specific cloud bursting models.
Interactive Voice Response
Talk about ease of use. This technology allows prerecorded voice options to respond to customer needs with keypad signal logic. Additionally, IVR technology can record specific answers from customers and pass on that data to a live agent with a host of valuable information about the customer’s specific needs.
IVR can also be used for sales, as a caller’s phone keypad can substitute as a sales form. Market research teams also use IVR for automated survey campaigns. Even healthcare professionals use cloud-based IVR technology, primarily to transcribe patient records. The benefits of this technology include a more efficient and streamlined customer service, higher customer satisfaction and 24/7 support.
The Human Element
While customer forecasts, cloud-bursting and IVR all will help keep your business afloat this holiday season, how will you keep service tickets organized? Well, there are a collection of customer service apps that help businesses keep track of high-volume customer needs.
Each has pros and cons, but all of them let employees share customer tickets across multiple platforms, as some customers may have more than one question, problem or concern. An organized customer service platform ensures a positive experience, even when an order has been misplaced or unfulfilled.
The Full Chain
When you research prior sales years, backstop your website for high traffic, put in place streamlined and automated customer support and equip your customer service department with the right tools, the holiday season will change from hectic to hospitable. The chain of customer support may be complicated, but with the right preparation, your business will see a high volume of happy customers and a boost in productivity.